Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
898 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yep -- my hive (with a deep and 3 mediums; 2 of the mediums had been on since last fall) swarmed a couple of hours ago. I'd placed a medium on it 2 weeks ago, since the lower boxes were "busy"; I couldn't really examine the individual frames of the lower boxes because the thick/hard propolis kept me from moving the frames at all [this was prior to my buying a J-hook hive tool]. I'm guessing that there were queen cells in the other boxes, so ... a swarm was most likely a done deal. :scratch:

SO .... now what? Should I inspect the hive later this week to see what the population looks like, and if not large, reduce the hive's size?

I'm hoping a new queen'll be present, can mate successfully, etc, so it'll be quite a while, maybe, before anything starts popping again.

The swarm appeared to actually split (?!), with 1 going to the top of a neighbor's tall pine, and the other, on the side of a 5' stump in my front yard. Any reasons for why that would happen? :s

I placed a nuc -- with lemongrass oil, a frame of old comb with some honey, and some empty frames -- beside the "stump" swarm, in hopes they may simply check it out and stroll on in. I've heard that's worth a try. I really didn't wanna risk destroying lots of bees by sweeping them into a box and relocating; the stump's in brush and at an odd angle.

I'd much appreciate any anecdotes, info, suggestions,etc. Every swarm seems to be its own challenge. Thx!

Mitch
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,905 Posts
I'm hoping a new queen'll be present, can mate successfully, etc,
SO .... now what?
depends on your goals

if it was me, I would split up the original hive as many ways as I had frames with cells.

I would not leave the hive alone, for 2 reasons.
#1 the virgin queen that wins could not make it back form a mating flight...ie birds, dragon flys, rain storm, UPS truck etc leaving you with a queen less hive
#2 hives with a lot of cells will often issue after swarms known as casts headed by virgin queens (often several), this depleats your population further. This may be what your seeing in your "split" swarm

At the very least I would pull an nuc with a frame of cells for insurance and thin out the number of cells in the main hive to 2-3. If you don't want more hives, and they both mate out recombine or sell/gift the nuc/queen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,054 Posts
The new queen will not be present yet. Assuming you have good weather, I would go in the hive asap and do a quick inspection and cull all but 3 of the largest Queen Cells. This will reduce the risk of cast swarms in which a hive can essentially swarm itself to death. Mark the frame(s) that contain the cells. Take the opportunity to clean up the propolis. Do not spend a lot of time with the queen cell frames and handle carefully. Add frames of honey or otherwise feed, if needed. Close up the hive and wait at least 30 days to allow the queen to hatch, harden her wings, get mated and start laying.
I address swarmed hives as YUSOB. J
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
FWIW I had 2 hives swarm last July, I tried to manage both of them like this to allow them to raise their own queens, after 3 weeks of still no eggs I ordered 2 queens, they arrived the next day, the hives recovered and are booming this spring - I will prob split one of them. It cost me $70, but since the retailer is so close to me it worked out. I think for future swarms I would do the same immediately w/o waiting. Introducing the new queen will make them tear down the queen cells, as Ive read here. Like I said FWIW, it worked for me. - Mike
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top